“The bag maketh a person.” Okay, I know that’s not the actual saying but somehow your bag can be a representation of who you are. I’d prefer to look at design than price when it comes to identifying a person through their bag. My newest find is a leather bag of Filipino craftsmanship by Fino Leatherware.
Myself, I like clean, simple and functional bags. Long gone are the days that I have to lug around a bag full of things for my kids. However, my bag still carries plenty and at times I wonder myself why it’s so heavy.
I trooped on down to their Trinoma branch and found this Marin Boat bag (Php3950). It’s compact yet spacious if you can believe that. It can carry everything I need because I do sometimes feel like I’m carrying my whole house.
A nice bag can usually complete an outfit so I try to stick with neutral colors so it can go with anything. There are plenty of designs to choose form and for sure you’ll find a bag that’ll fit your style.
Nowadays though, it’s not just women who carry around bags. Men also bring many things that they need for a day of work and fun. I remember an episode of Friends when Joey could not let go of a man purse Rachel had shown him. It was a funny concept a few years ago but today men are so fashionable that men’s bags is all but natural.
Fino Leatherware has launched their men’s collection of bags, HIStory, that prides itself on having created a line of intelligently designed pieces that are functional and yet creative and aesthetic, fulfilling current and realistic needs and demands of today’s fast, technology driven lifestyle.
Meet the men of FINO
The FINO bag Elbert co-created is reminiscent of a bespoke vintage race car bag sporting a number in front, reflective of his love for racing, which has taken center stage in this collaboration. The distressed brown and gray leather definitely lives up to that retro feel. Elbert shares, “I wanted to be able to incorporate an international racer design with a stripe and a number.” Like him, the all-leather piece wears many hats, used while he’s biking, traveling, and working. Elbert adds, “I like leather because it’s very sensual. It appeals to the human senses—you can see it, you can smell it, and you can feel it. It covers almost all the senses. The tactile feel even produces a sort of sound—and this is almost the same things I do in the restaurant business. They are similar experiences.”
He describes the piece as a messenger-tote bag, designed so that it doesn’t swing while biking. The compartmentalized bag was designed to be home to his life’s essentials and needs. “I designed the bag to have several compartments, so that everything has a place: tech stuff like my laptop, gadgets, chargers, and cables; personal items like my glasses, grooming products, and checkbook; and things for work like folders,” says Elbert. “I also made sure to include an outside pocket, which is useful when you travel— that’s where your passport and boarding pass go. Plus a trolley sleeve, which you can easily slide over your hand carry luggage.” The double straps, which have racing stripes, are short enough to hold in your hand and long enough to wear on the shoulders. It also has a detachable strap, whose length can be adjusted, so that the bag can be worn as a cross-body or as a bike bag on your back. As the bag for the multi- hyphenate man, he tells other men who believe it is not necessary to carry a bag or who think carrying a bag is not a manly thing to do, “I now have a bag that carries everything I need and you will discover that with my bag, you do need one too.”
“For the longest time, I’ve been looking for somebody to work with to create a fan bag.” His dream bag is brought to life with FINO, designed to allow you to store your fan, and many other essentials, in the most stylish way. The outcome was a smooth, leather, two-tone, compartmentalized man clutch with a fan pocket on the outside, perfect for times when one needs to bring a fan and to use a small clutch also. The variant he uses is red and black, his signature colors. The piece also features a small card case as well as pen case, smartly conceptualized to be compact and flexible.
Chef Robby Gocco has several restaurants under his name including CYMA, Green Pastures, and SOUV! “You have to be constantly innovating, constantly challenging your recipes,” he explains. A firm believer in the saying “Good food is a right, not a privilege” he shares that he has very high standards when it comes to his restaurants.
When asked about his medium sized backpack-sling, leather-nylon, FINO bag, he says, “It’s rugged, not at all formal.” The easy-to-wear fusion back sling was a result of experiences from both work and leisure, championing creativity, convenience and innovation. Aside from his business related activities that include meetings, going to the market, running a kitchen, he also needed a bag that he could use for traveling. You’ll immediately see his keys attached in front, which shows how mobile he is. The bag is made up of several secured compartments, which is fitting for his multifaceted lifestyle as well.
He is the man behind bringing the concept of a bamboo bike “Bambikes” to the Philippines, and turning it into a sustainable business. If you happen to be in Intramuros and see a set of people circling the walled city in Bambikes you would have seen part of the realized vision of Bryan. Behind Bambike are the Bambuilders from Gawad Kalinga, an organization dedicated to providing sustainable livelihood for some of the less fortunate communities in the Philippines. His company, Bamb Ecological Technology has so much promise for the future.
Take a look at his leather messenger bag, and you’ll immediately see how fitting it is for someone as active and as outdoorsy as Bryan is. Constantly biking from one commitment to another, he needed a bag that was durable, compartmentalized, and flexible. This rectangular, tough but classy leather and canvas bag has enough compartments to carry items like a water bottle and other work essentials, while still having room for a cellular phone, a laptop, a wallet, and other work essentials. Perfect for the adventurous commuter.
Enter The Henry Hotel in Pasay and you’ll immediately be transported to another world—a sophisticated, fun, and enticing one. This world was designed by interior designer Eric Paras. Finding the perfect harmony, he took both old-world and modern elements and fused them to create a welcoming, inspiring, and comfortable sanctuary.
Being all about form and function, the bag he designed with FINO is just that. As simple as it appears, a lot of thought was put into developing it. It’s a utilitarian, rectangular, easy-to-match tote containing a detachable clutch where a man can choose to put his essentials. It was designed in a size perfect for carrying folders and other documents needed by an artist or creative spirit. Being composed of mostly nylon makes it very light despite its generous proportions.
From the top of a motorbike to the back of a camera, this man is king. As a director, he has been awarded for a number of his works including Best Director (Ad Congress) for PLDT, Monde Nissin, Procter and Gamble, and Coca-Cola. Being a seasoned professional, he has seen the change in the media landscape. When asked how one stays relevant in the fast-paced, digital world of today? “Change is the only constant,” he explains. “At the end of the day, we are people with emotions and values. New forms and tools of reaching out to people will always come and go; it’s how you tickle or touch their heartstrings that poses a challenge and makes this field of advertising fun and unpredictable.”
Similar to his personal style, the FINO bag he co-designed is understated but functional and comfortable to wear. Featuring multiple compartments, the curved leather man sling, which also doubles as a backpack, is small and easy to carry, yet still big enough to carry one’s needs. The front of the bag features zippers on each side as well as scraps for closure, perfect for someone who is constantly on the move.
At his young age, Carlo is riding high in the digital landscape of the Philippines. He is now VP of Digital Strategy and Disruptive Business for PLDT. “The modern consumer is more discerning because they are empowered with digital to make better choices,” he shares. “The consumer is changing from the way they buy, communicate, and consume media, at a rapid pace. The challenge for marketers is to be able to keep up because when they don’t, they are open to disruption.” He also founded Unbox.ph, which has one of the highest traffic for technology lifestyle sites in the Philippines.
“I wanted a bag that would serve the needs of the modern-day executive. The number of gear that a professional needs has changed over the years. There’s the laptop, power bank, cables, smartphones, tablet, cameras, etc. The bag I envisioned was built to carry those in a purposeful and stylish way.” The result is a hybrid leather-canvas messenger bag, with a removable organizer for his gadgets. It also has a card and pen holder at the front interior of the bag. This versatile bag can be used for both formal and casual occasions. Carlo shares, “I’m happy that the collaboration led to a bag that I would love to use everyday.”
HIStory, FINO’s line for men is available at select FINO stores. Like and follow FINO on FB + IG: finoleatherware | finoleatherware.com.
For inquiries, you may go to any of the FINO branches below:
Alabang Town Center | Power Plant Mall | Eastwood Mall | SM Mall of Asia | The Podium | Robinson’s Place Manila | Trinoma | Robinson’s Magnolia | Shangri-la Mall | Glorietta 3
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